Faculty Research Spotlight: Shaneda Destine
Shaneda Destine is an assistant professor of sociology and Africana Studies. Her research focus is race, gender, sexuality, and contemporary social movements. She investigates forms of resistance of Black women and Black queer people as they create spaces of Black joy and respite, while struggling for liberation.
In 2020, Destine published “From a Hashtag to a Movement: Black Women Movement Actors’ Challenges to Leading a Radical Movement” in Postracial America. In the article, she addresses a gap in the literature on the connections of local political organizations affiliated with the movement for Black Lives Matter that are led and facilitated by Black women movement actors. Destine conducted five focus groups in Maryland and the District of Columbia in 2016 to identify the challenges facing Black women leaders, organizers, and protestors in local organizations connected to the Black Lives Matter movement. Drawing from intersectionality and Black radical social movement theories, Destine found emerging themes that helped identify a deep racial capital in the focus groups and provided a nuanced discussion of the struggle to build a global working-class movement in local anti-racist organizations and future research opportunities.
Destine and colleagues Jazzmine Brooks and Christopher Rogers published “Black Maternal Health Crisis, COVID-19, and the Crisis of Care” in a special COVID-19 edition of Feminist Studies, published in late 2020. In the essay, they outline the crisis of care for Black mothers and Black birthing parents during the pandemic – an issue the United Nations Populations Fund identified as part of the women’s health crisis related to COVID-19. Using a critical intersectional feminist lens, Destine and her co-authors identify the crisis as embedded in an ongoing capitalist dynamic in which the medical industry harms countless Black birthing parents and offer an activist-centered approach for improving their conditions, such as disproportionate infection and death rates. Read the entire study in Feminist Studies, volume 46, number 3, available online at feministstudies.org.